Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Jan 28, 2011.
Salafis! Salafis! Salafis!
Syria's Assad may be preparing to massacre the people of Homs.
The Assad regime has also been trying to ignite sectarian violence, burning mosques and pipelines and blaming it on armed gangs of terrorists.
It has been suggested by reporters lately that Syrian forces are even targeting children, due to the massive amount of child deaths (5-10% of the 4000+ deaths have been children).
Particularly disturbing is the 13-year-old boy, Hamza al-Khateeb, who was
*detained by Syrian forces
*entire body burned by cigarettes
*whipped by a cable
*shot three times
*then his lifeless body returned to his parents
His is not the only case of that nature when it comes to regime violence against detained children, but realistically the death toll of children and juveniles probably has to be bigger than 5-10 percent just alone because of Syrian demographics and the amount of indiscriminate shelling and shooting. Over 40 percent of the population is under 18 years of age.
I thought it was a response at least in the correct tone in comparison to the original post.
500,000 in Syria are protesting today.
In a country of only 22 million, that's a HUGE number for one day of protesting.
At least 32 have been killed in deadly clashes with the regime.
Arab League observers promise to report the brutality shown to protesters.
Assad is Obviously getting support from his people some whoe in very HUGE NUMBERS being a Syrian Myself !
I can't trust CNN anymore after the 1991 gulff war and 2003 Iraq war but then again who could trust PRESS TV. Who KNows it could be other be foreign army who did the Tortures of the 13 boy there is a lot to gain to see Syria in a civil state. And who is to say that theese peole up in arms may want to start a ssectarina voilence.
Qatari Leader: Send Arab Troops Into Syria
The leader of Qatar has said Arab troops should be sent to Syria to stop the regime's violent crackdown on protesters.
Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani's comments, made to CBS, are the first by an Arab leader calling for the deployment of troops inside Syria.
They come amid growing claims that a team of Arab League observers dispatched to the country to curb the bloodshed has failed in its mission.
Qatar, which once had close relations with Damascus, has been a harsh critic of the 10-month crackdown by President Bashar al Assad's government.
Does this seem realistic to anyone? Could the Arab League really mount an invasion (presumably joined by Turkey), and against one of their former members? I never really thought of the Arab League as a force similar to NATO before.
Their first major action was the attempted invasion of Israel, and they do have a mutual defense agreement. Turkey would be the obvious leader in any military intervention.
Well yeah, Israel, but I mean it has never really seemed to be the Arab-equivalent of NATO before. They never seemed that interventionist to me, especially against one of their own (former) members. They got together to attack Israel when it was a new country, and then for the last 30+ years it has just seemed like a forum for leaders to meet every once in a while. But I guess NATO has been evolving too, from being purely a military defense treaty, to helping secure and rebuild Afghanistan (which is originally out of defense, but the mission definitely got broader) and recently the intervention in Libya. Just wanted to point out that the Arab League really seems to be evolving.
Yeah, they are.
Momentum is picking up again to intervene in Syria, as well as a possible conflict between Israel and Iran. We won't know how this will end for many months, maybe years, to come.
But some very big, immediate news: Hamas betrays Syria, Iran, Hezbollah... sides with the anti-Assad revolt. For most of the last decade, the anti-Israel axis has consisted of Iran, its smaller ally Syria, and their two proxies: Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza strip. That's now over. Just days after Iran has sent warships to Syria, to stand by its ally Bashar al-Assad and send a message of unity to Israel, Hamas has chosen to cut ties. It's a logical break, but still tears into the web of alliances that Iran has carefully spun over the years.
Hamas ditches Assad, backs Syrian revolt
Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas turned publicly against their long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Friday, endorsing the revolt aimed at overthrowing his dynastic rule.
The policy shift deprives Assad of one of his few remaining Sunni Muslim supporters in the Arab world and deepens his international isolation. It was announced in Hamas speeches at Friday prayers in Cairo and a rally in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas went public after nearly a year of equivocating as Assad's army, largely led by fellow members of the president's Alawite sect, has crushed mainly Sunni protesters and rebels.
In a Middle East split along sectarian lines between Shi'ite and Sunni Islam, the public abandonment of Assad casts immediate questions over Hamas's future ties with its principal backer Iran, which has stuck by its ally Assad, as well as with Iran's fellow Shi'ite allies in Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.
"I salute all the nations of the Arab Spring and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, visiting Egypt from the Gaza Strip, told thousands of Friday worshippers at Cairo's al-Azhar mosque.
"We are marching towards Syria, with millions of martyrs," chanted worshippers at al-Azhar, home to one of the Sunni world's highest seats of learning. "No Hezbollah and no Iran.
"The Syrian revolution is an Arab revolution."
Contemporary political rivalries have exacerbated tensions that date back centuries between Sunnis - the vast majority of Arabs - and Shi'ites, who form substantial Arab populations, notably in Lebanon and Iraq, and who dominate in non-Arab Iran.
Hamas and Hezbollah, confronting Israel on its southwestern and northern borders, have long had a strategic alliance against the Jewish state, despite opposing positions on the sectarian divide. Both have fought wars with Israel in the past six years.
But as the Sunni-Shi'ite split in the Middle East deepens, Hamas appears to have cast its lot with the powerful, Egypt-based Sunni Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose star has been in the ascendant since the Arab Spring revolts last year.
HAMAS MAKES ITS CHOICE
"This is considered a big step in the direction of cutting ties with Syria," said Hany al-Masri, a Palestinian political commentator. Damascus might now opt to formally expel Hamas's exile headquarters from Syria, he told Reuters.
Banned by deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood has moved to the centre of public life. It is the ideological parent of Hamas, which was founded 25 years ago among the Palestinians, the majority of whom are Sunni Muslims.
Shi'ite Hezbollah still supports the Assad family, from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, which has maintained authoritarian rule over Syria's Sunni majority for four decades but now may have its back to the wall.
Hamas, however, has been deeply embarrassed among Palestinians by its association with Assad, as the death toll in his crackdown on opponents has risen into the thousands.
In Gaza, senior Hamas member Salah al-Bardaweel addressed thousands of su
I wouldn't focus on "what this means for Israel". Any sane person would expect this; the amount of far-right Islam in Hamas is overstated by the media. The PLO is more like a radical indigenous group than a religious group.
... Syria ...
Well, oof! A lot has happened in the last five months. Some key events: This guy has taken his brand of revolution from Libya to Syria, bringing back the notion of Pan-Arabism, a political concept that's been dead since the 1970s. And Hillary Clinton has floated a Syrian no-fly zone. I suspect that that is where we will end up; the Administration is taking it slowly, but the Secretary Of State is obviously kind of an important person.
Over 100,000 Syrians fled the country just last month: link.
Also, here was the temporary thread on the Middle East:
UN Human Rights Council Report from mid August isn't a happy read.
The encyclopedic scope of atrocities committed by government forces and pro-government militias/Shabbiha seems designed to force that refugee flow out of the country.
Let's suppose Assad was forced out. Who is most likely to take his place?
After a power vacuum, it's a free for all jungle out there. Who benefits from that? Who THRIVES on that? There's your answer. The crazies.
So there's really no sort of a minority party or reform movement ready to emerge in his absence like there was in Egypt?
No. The Free Syrian Army is markedly less organized than the Libyan transitional council was.
Probably the most prominent is this guy, although he's not actually part of the FSA. Still leads a pretty significant, and from the article, disciplined, force, and was actually recruited by the Syrians to lead against the government.
So if the rebels were to coalesce around a leader or group of leaders, what then? Would we intervene directly? Provide weapons and/or intelligence? What are the prerequisites for foreign involvement, and if these are met would we actually have the political will to make it happen?
Another question is whether foreign involvement is wanted at all. The group that DarthBoba's article was about were proud to announce that none of their contributors were governments.
According to one of the founders of Medecins Sans Frontieres, who was just in Syria, Jihadists are starting to join the fight against Assad with a view towards filling the post-Assad vaccum with an Islamic state. Story.
*Shrug* Not a surprise. The Baathist governments in iraq and syria were never particularly friendly towards the AQ brand of terrorism; they probably see this as a good opportunity and I'm honestly surprised its taken this long.